Environmental and Occupational Physiology | 2020 ACSM Annual Meeting Highlighted Sessions

In This Section:

Environmental and Occupational Physiology | 2020 ACSM Annual Meeting Highlighted Sessions

Caroline J. Smith, Ph.D., FACSM |  Feb. 10, 2020

Annual Meeting 2020 Environment and Occupational PhysiologyEnvironmental and Occupation Physiology (EOP) boasts a full and exciting program for the ACSM 2020 Annual Meeting. This topical area includes a broad range of topics relating to human health and performance in environmental extremes, including cold exposure, heat, diving physiology, altitude and microgravity. Sessions range from basic science to applications for training, clothing and policy development in athletes, clinical populations, military, firefighters and related occupations. Many of the sessions will appeal to researchers, athletes, coaches and clinicians, so please join us for some great EOP sessions.

The EOP Highlighted Symposium will be held on Thursday May 28th at 9:30 a.m., covering “Environmental Pollution, Climate Change and Human Health.” The session highlights a major theme running throughout many of our topical sessions relating to the impact of climate change on human health and performance. Talks range from heat mitigation strategies in older adults during extreme heat and cooling athletes with spinal cord injury during exercise, to health consequences of pollution, air quality and athletic performance. A related and very timely symposium discussing “Evidence-Based Extreme Heat Policies for Elite and Community Sport” (Wednesday, May 27 at 9:30 a.m.) chaired by Ollie Jay, Ph.D., FACSM, brings together international experts addressing considerations associated with developing and implementing extreme heat policies in different environments across the sporting world; From elite athletes to the community level. Dr. Carolyn Broderick, Tennis Australia Chief Medical Officer, is joined by speakers highlighting challenges for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and heat illness prevention in U.S. College Football.

A second theme running through EOP programming this year concerns sex-related differences in physiological responses, including two dedicated sessions and many other presentations incorporated in the program. Notably, a symposium addressing “Responses to Environmental Challenges for Women” (Friday, May 29 at 9:30 a.m.) chaired by Lacy Alexander, Ph.D., FACSM, brings together an excellent group of speakers including Nina Stachenfeld, Ph.D., FACSM. The session will address underlying mechanisms that may mediate sex differences in physiological responses to environmental stressors, the complexities of female physiology, capacity for adaptation and the increased need to address female-specific responses to extreme environments.

Other sessions to watch out for include a symposium on “Skin Wettedess in Thermoregulation” at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday May 27th, chaired by Zachary Schlader, Ph.D., FACSM and including Dr. Jay and George Havenith, Ph.D., FACSM, in the lineup. There is an excellent opportunity for discussion on “Hydration Strategies and Assessment” during a thematic poster session chaired by Dr. William Adams on Thursday, May 28th at 1:30 p.m. Topics including hydration markers and current rehydration strategies will be addressed during exercise and daily living. There are also a wide variety of posters to visit throughout the conference, including physiological responses to cold exposure, altitude, diving and microgravity. Applied aspects of occupational physiology are covered in posters highlighting military ̶, police ̶  and firefighter ̶ relevant tasks and physiological responses.

We have a phenomenal EOP program spanning the entire conference, with sessions towards the end of the week including a thematic poster session on “Cardiovascular Health in Firefighters” on Friday, May 29th and a tutorial by Drs. Douglas Jones, Ph.D., FACSM, and Ran Yanovich, Ph.D., on Saturday May 30th at 8 a.m. discussing “Current Heat Tolerance Issues in the Military.” Novel approaches to evaluate heat tolerance and return to duty and current knowledge gaps in evaluating heat tolerance for military specialties and genders will be addressed.

There are too many excellent sessions to highlight individually, so please review the EOP programming and additional meeting programming and we look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

Register for the 2020 ACSM Annual Meeting.

Caroline Smith HeadshotCaroline J. Smith, Ph.D., FACSM, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, NC. She is Director of the Thermal and Microvascular Physiology Laboratory specializing in thermal physiology. Her research program broadly focuses on thermoregulatory responses during exposure to heat and dermal carcinogen exposure in occupational settings. Dr. Smith received her PhD in Thermal Physiology from the Environmental Ergonomics Research Center, Loughborough University, UK, and completed postdoctoral training at Noll Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University. She is the topical representative for Environmental and Occupational Physiology on the ACSM program committee.